23 Replies Latest reply on Apr 10, 2015 10:53 AM by phaedrus77

    Colours in exported PDF

    phaedrus77

      Hi,

       

      I'm close to taering my hair out. I have an PDF I prepared for printing and that looks just fine. Now I want to create a reduced size version for web use. In this version the colours are way off when viewed with any viewer not coming from Adobe (even Adobe Reader 9 on Unix gets the colours wrong).

      What I did so far:

       

      - Scan the images

      - process the images in Photoshop (ProphotoRGB)

      - convert them to CMYK (ISO coated v2 300%) and save as TIFF with the profile embedded

      - place images in InDesign (color spaces set accordingly)

      - export for printing using the HQ Printing preset

       

      Looks good so far.

       

      Exporting as sRGB PDF from ID gives wrong colours. Converting the colours in Acrobat from the PDF used for printing claims to convert the images to sRGB.

      Yet the colours are way off when using a viewer that ignores color profiles. I think I tried all possible setting for the conversion.

       

      So which magical setting did I miss to tell either ID or Acrobat to really convert the colours to sRGB so any viewer ignoring profiles would show them as closely as possible?

       

      Here is a screenshot of some sample pages. Left is the viewer ignoring profiles, right viewed in Acrobat.

      sample_ncm-vs-cm.png

       

      Any hint highly appreciated.

       

      Thanks

      Bernd

        • 1. Re: Colours in exported PDF
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Exporting as sRGB PDF from ID gives wrong colours.

          When you export the sRGB version does your Export Output tab look like this:

           

          Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 8.01.28 AM.png

          • 2. Re: Colours in exported PDF
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            - convert them to CMYK (ISO coated v2 300%) and save as TIFF with the profile embedded

            Also, why make the conversion to CMYK in Photoshop? You can place the RGB files and make the same CMYK conversion on export. In that case you can keep the images in the less device dependent RGB space.

            • 3. Re: Colours in exported PDF
              phaedrus77 Level 1

              Yes, the output tab looks like yours. I already tried different PDF versions and all combinations of conversion and profile inclusion. Other PDF viewers simply ignore the included profile and I would like ID or Acrobat to convert the images to be as I see them on my (calibrated) display. Photoshop does this with the export for web function, I'm missing that in ID or Acrobat though.

              As for why I convert to CMYK in Photoshop - some images go straight out to printing and the printer wants CMYK. Also I sometimes have to pretty up some colours in the final image after the conversion to CMYK to correct colour shifts.

              I could have a second copy of the book with RGB images, but that obviously lacks elegance ;-)

               

                Bernd

              • 4. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                Danny Whitehead. Level 4

                A colour-managed viewer (like Adobe's) will convert sRGB images from sRGB to the monitor's colour space/profile. A viewer that isn't colour managed will display them in the monitor's native space. The further from sRGB the monitor is, the more marked the difference will be.

                • 5. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  tell either ID or Acrobat to really convert the colours to sRGB

                  In AcrobatPro you can check an object's color space and whether it is profiled via Output Preview>Preview>Object Inspector. Have you checked there to make sure your objects are in fact calibrated sRGB? an Object with no profile will show as DeviceRGB:

                   

                  Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 9.24.10 AM.png

                  • 6. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                    phaedrus77 Level 1

                    Understood. Excuse the poor wording on my end. I'm not talking about the difference between displays. I'm well aware that there is no chance of getting that right. I just can't figure out why it looks so very different. I would expect that whichever program I use would have a way to create a file that will look as the intended output (at least inside the file) even if the viewer ignores profiles altogether. I.e. take the rendered output as shown on my (calibrated) display an stick it into a file.

                    • 7. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                      phaedrus77 Level 1

                      it does indeed show as sRGB (for all images). But when whatever program in use ignores the profile the colours are obviously far off.

                      Screenshot-8.png

                      • 8. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I think Danny's right, you could get a significant shift in appearance when the sRGB image is viewed directly in the monitor profile without the conversion from sRGB to monitor RGB. Try opening one of the sRGB images in Photoshop and Edit>Assign  your system's monitor profile and you should see the color appearance you are getting when the image is viewed in an app with no color management.

                         

                        Most current browsers are color managed (at least on the OSX side). Have you tried viewing the PDF in one? Safari, Chrome, Firefox work for me.

                        • 9. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                          brown1982 Level 1

                          In your case, i should print the indesign file to .ps and let distiller do his job. When you print to postscript you got more options for color adjustments and you can also adjust the quality for the images, so you can downscale them for web. I have notice that RGB color's turn out great in ps conversion.

                          • 10. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                            brown1982 Level 1

                            Instead of adjusting all images in Photoshop ;)

                            • 11. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                              brown1982 Level 1

                              Also i notice (if i am correct, cause its hard 2 see on the image), that it looks like you are viewing it on two different acrobat's. It can be that 1 acrobat has overprint preview on, this also can make the difference in colors.

                              • 12. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                When you print to postscript you got more options for color adjustments

                                Like what?

                                • 13. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  that it looks like you are viewing it on two different acrobat's

                                  Read post 1 carefully, the OP is comparing Acrobat, which is color managed, vs. a non color managed PDF viewer. If a PDF viewer has no CM capabilities you would expect a display difference. Post no. 7 shows that ID has successfully made the conversion to profiled sRGB, so the preview difference is the viewer with no color management ignoring the sRGB profile.

                                  • 14. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                    brown1982 Level 1

                                    Schermafbeelding 2015-04-09 om 21.24.36.pngSchermafbeelding 2015-04-09 om 21.24.20.png

                                    rob day schreef:

                                     

                                    When you print to postscript you got more options for color adjustments

                                    Like what?

                                    • 15. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      Export gives you the same conversion options in the Output tab.

                                       

                                      Distiller has the downside of forcing everything through postscript and you can't keep transparency live.

                                      • 16. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                        brown1982 Level 1

                                        rob day schreef:

                                         

                                        Export gives you the same conversion options in the Output tab.

                                         

                                        Distiller has the downside of forcing everything through postscript and you can't keep transparency live.

                                        True, but not the color conversion in the first image. So if the RGB colors doesnt come out as wished, this is at least a option you can easily try.

                                        • 17. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          this is at least a option you can easily try.

                                           

                                          You can convert to any RGB space via Export, it's just a matter of selecting the desired destination profile. The Output setting in my #1 is converting all color to sRGB and including the sRGB profile.

                                           

                                          There's no way of controlling what app your client uses to view the PDF—if it has no color management capabilities the profile will be ignored.

                                          • 18. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                            brown1982 Level 1

                                            rob day schreef:

                                             

                                            this is at least a option you can easily try.

                                             

                                            You can convert to any RGB space via Export, it's just a matter of selecting the desired destination profile. The Output setting in my #1 is converting all color to sRGB and including the sRGB profile.

                                             

                                            There's no way of controlling what app your client uses to view the PDF—if it has no color management capabilities the profile will be ignored.


                                            Excuse, I understood it wrong. This is a known issue for me also in the practice. This can not be changed. Indeed each application has its own color system. And if you want to put it online, you can not know which application the user use. In addition, each display also has its own color profile. So again this is different, moreover each screen has its own brightness and there are other factors that play a role according colors.

                                             

                                            So you can not guarantee that every application/screen shows and looks the same. You can make a note (alert) that notice the users, with something like; For the best view use Adobe acrobat reader 10 or higher. Can be downloaded here....

                                            • 19. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                              phaedrus77 Level 1

                                              I tried that as well. Subtle changes when cycling through all available profiles, but none anywhere close to what I got in the PDF.

                                              • 20. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                                phaedrus77 Level 1

                                                Yes that was the point as rob already mentioned. One was AcrobatProXI on Win7 the other (unmanaged) was Adobe Reader 9 on Solaris.

                                                • 21. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                                  phaedrus77 Level 1

                                                  Adjusting colour in my case sometimes means really changing colours in the digital image. The scan results largely depend on the kind of colours used in the art pieces. Let me tell you - water colour is a ***** to scan, especially in mixed media pieces when the background is a different kind of colour. But when the artist is your missus, you find ways to fix that stuff ;-)

                                                  • 22. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    So maybe the PDF viewer with no CM has its own idea about how RGB should be displayed and it's not using the monitor profile—in any case there's nothing you can do about it.

                                                    • 23. Re: Colours in exported PDF
                                                      phaedrus77 Level 1

                                                      After a long night of fiddling and swearing I got desperate and tried to get back to vanilla Windows installation in terms of colour management.

                                                      So I removed all additional software that tempers with that stuff (X-rite colormunki, I1 scanner calibration and so on).

                                                      After I removed the I1 bits that I use to profile my scanner. I got to see the wrong colours in the PDF as on an unmanaged display. This step involved not autostarting xritegamma (if I remember the name correctly) any longer. It seems the last update for this must have broken something along the way.

                                                      My guess is that different profiles where loaded on top of each other. When producing the PDF the output was adjusted to a wrong 'baseline'. So Acrobat on my maschine got it to display right but everyone else (and all unmanaged) viewers would show based on the wrong 'sRGB-version' (something like whatever first profile I had loaded minus sRGB).

                                                      Luckily the images where all prepared before the hiccup so when I now export an sRGB PDF I get to see it very close to the original ID version.

                                                       

                                                      Next up is trying to find out what the heck happened in detail to get things screwed up this way.

                                                       

                                                      Thanks for all your support!